Thursday, 03 October 2013 10:52

What is My Ideal Weight

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What is My Ideal Weight

 

Understanding what your weight should be is not as simple as a number on the scales. Many factors and variable influence your body weight including your bone mass, your body type and the amount of muscle definition you have.

 

Puberty is also a factor that determines how fast your body grows and develops. Puberty is controlled by hormones that encourage physical growth and development especially in regards to your height and weight. On average you can expect growth spurts of between 10-25 centimetres before reaching full adulthood. These growth spurts can have an impact on your overall body weight.

 

It is important to understand that growth spurts during this period can happen at different rates and different speeds. Some children may begin their development at an early age (9 years of age) where other children may not develop until they reach 13. It is also possible that a child with the same height, age and gender as another child may have a different weight measurement.

 

For some children, this can be a difficult situation to come to terms with especially if that child is heavier or bigger other children. It may also be a time where an overweight child feels self-conscious; but it is important to understand that one’s weight and height will balance out as they develop and mature.

 

Body Mass Index (BMI): A Measure of Body Weight

 

Body Mass Index is a measure of height to weight and uses a scale to determine whether a child’s weight fits into a category from underweight to obese. A formula is used to calculate a child’s BMI score which involves weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of the height in meters. For example, in the case of a child who is 122 centimeters tall and who weighs 48 kilograms, the BMI is 48 kilograms divided by (1.22 meters)2 which = 32.

Body mass index can also be calculated with the following formula, which uses weight in pounds and height in inches: Weight (in pounds) divided by the square of the height (in inches) multiplied by 704.5. Like height and weight, BMI increases with age, and percentile charts are available for plotting (Smith, 1999).

 

Each BMI chart is divided into percentiles. A child whose BMI is equal to or greater than the 5th percentile and less than the 85th percentile is considered a healthy weight for his or her age. A child at or above the 85th percentile but less than the 95th percentile for age, is considered overweight. A child at or above the 95th percentile is considered obese. A child below the 5th percentile is considered underweight (Smith, 1999).

 

Smash! Fit for Kids has a free application which can be downloaded from www.smashfit4kids.com which plots a child’s BMI score on a plotting chart that allows a child to monitor and manage his/hers BMI score. The program is very easy to use and only asks for height and weight measurements.  

 

What Happens If I am Overweight or Underweight?

 

It is important to understand that every teenage body responds differently to the growth spurt that occurs during puberty. Some children may be naturally skinny and there growth spurt may happen during the later periods of puberty. This is not something that a child needs to be concerned about because as they mature there body will regulate and they will put on weight.

 

In a few cases, a child may be underweight because of a health problem that may need treatment. If a child feels tired or ill, has symptoms like a cough, stomachache, diarrhea, or other problems that have lasted for more than a week or two, than they may need to talk with a parent or guardian.

 

Obesity is a big problem affecting many teenage children. Obesity occurs when a child’s BMI score is above the 95th percentile. A number of factors have been associated with obesity including lifestyle, food intake and in some cases health related issues. If you are concerned about your body weight, then it is important that you talk to your parents or guardian as you may need support or guidance from a health professional.

 

Remember: It is not the number on the scales that matter but how you feel about yourself. Don’t worry if you are slightly heavier or lighter than your peers as you will find that as your grow and develop through puberty that your weight will level out.

 

If your BMI score is above that 95th percentile than it is important that you speak to a parent or guardian and seek guidance and support from a health professional. They will be able to offers assistance with your lifestyle choices.

 

 

 

 

References

 

 

Smith, J.C. (1999). Understanding Childhood Obesity. University Press of Mississippi: Jackson, MS

Read 2624 times Last modified on Saturday, 05 October 2013 04:13

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